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Old 06-29-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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My husband and I are empty nesters moving to NOVA. My husband works in DC and wants an easy commute. We are looking for a quaint walkable area. We have a flexible budget. We are looking at the Clarendon area of Arlington or Old Town Alexandria. We would love any comments or suggestions on which area would work best or suggestions for additional areas to consider. We don't need to worry about schools but want a safe low crime area.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CltAtl View Post
My husband and I are empty nesters moving to NOVA. My husband works in DC and wants an easy commute. We are looking for a quaint walkable area. We have a flexible budget. We are looking at the Clarendon area of Arlington or Old Town Alexandria. We would love any comments or suggestions on which area would work best or suggestions for additional areas to consider. We don't need to worry about schools but want a safe low crime area.
Why not live in DC and save the commute? There are a lot of cool neighborhoods there that are quite walkable. The one disadvantage I can think of is that taxes might be higher.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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We did consider DC but were worried about the higher income taxes
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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Since you used the word "quaint," I'd think Old Town Alexandria would be the best spot. Either that or Georgetown, if DC works from a tax perspective.

There are other places in the DC area that are walkable, but "quaint" certainly doesn't quite describe a place like Clarendon, nor in my mind most DC neighborhoods, either.

Woodley Park and Cleveland Park are also nice areas of DC - I'd describe them as comfortable, walkable areas.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Originally Posted by CltAtl View Post
We did consider DC but were worried about the higher income taxes
I believe it's about a 3% difference on dollars over $40K
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:16 PM
 
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Income taxes are not the only taxes you will pay. The District has a generous homestead exemption, for instance, that will significantly slash real estate taxes if you intend to own. Overall, MD has the highest tax rates in the area, then DC, then VA. But the District fares surprisingly well for some income levels. The report below is prepared annually by DC's CFO, and it presents a great deal of detail concerning taxes in DC and how those actually compare to the situations in the nearby suburbs. Since some of the places that will best meet your stated wishes may indeed be in the District, it might be well to read the report to be sure you understand the relative tax situation properly.

Tax Rates and Tax Burdens -- September 2010
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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Clarendon is certainly part of a walkable area but maybe not so much quaint as an urban extension of DC with the benefits of living in VA. It's known as being "ground zero" for young professionals working in Virginia but I would imagine that there would be plenty of places that you would feel comfortable patronizing.

Old Town Alexandria may be as quaint as it gets for a close-in area on this side of the Potomac...and it's certainly made for empty nesters.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:50 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
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I'd go for Old Town in a heartbeat. Very quaint. Clarendon is walkable but it's got an urban feel and super partying goes on at night. Not to say that Clarendon might not be for you - but it attracts a high population of young people. I work in Clarendon and all the young people want to or do live here.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:11 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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You should also check out the Del Ray section of Alexandria. It's quaint and walkable with lots of interesting independent shops and restaurants along Mount Vernon Avenue. It's also slightly closer to DC than Old Town and has a somewhat funkier feel to it.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
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Many of these areas may be walkable but I certainly don't see them as quaint. Nothing in my opinion is quaint in the metro area. Heck, even places like Old Town Manassas and Leesburg are far from quaint thanks to traffic and urban noise.
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